Privacy Rewrite GSoC Project

Ethan Blanton elb at
Tue Jul 21 17:47:08 EDT 2009

Felipe Contreras spake unto us the following wisdom:
> > Ethan has to say the following over this topic:
> >
> > "I think that we all agree that we want to move away from the "Allow
> > all below", "Block all below", etc. etc. to something more coherent. I
> > have been thinking something like:
> I disagree. The main issue is that some protocols don't support some
> options, you simply need to avoid showing them, that's it.
> MSN supports "Allow users below" and "Block users below", so you
> should show only those options.

Many developers have expressed a desire to unify the privacy interface
across all protocols, such that we have only ONE privacy model, and it
is implemented in each protocol as necessary.  I don't think this
point is on the table any more.  Someone can correct me if they

> > [ ] Block messages from all users not on my buddy list
> >
> > [ ] Block {chat invitations, subscription requests, etc.} from all users not
> > on my buddy list
> >
> > [ ] Allow users who are not on my list to see my presence
> There's already a way to block file transfers: click on the "Cancel"
> button when you receive one.

This is non-sensical -- that isn't blocking file transfers, that's
requiring the user to deal with each file transfer independently. And,
yes, we do have users who ask to have *all* file transfers, chat
invitations, and subscription requests blocked.

>  And why would you want to block file transfers but not chats? And why
>  would you want to block chats, but not block the user?

These questions, I cannot answer.  It may be that it is sufficient to
have "Block everything but messages".


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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